James Marshall Hendrix is one of the most prolific artists to have ever stepped foot on a stage. Between his stellar guitar skills and reckless behavior, fans ate up his rebel demeanor. Hendrix’ mystique was added to with the inaccuracies surrounding his death. With the observance of Veteran’s Day, The Urban Daily brings you five facts you still might not know about the man, the myth, the legend–Jimi Hendrix.
1. Little Richard stole Jimi Hendrix from The Isley Brothers’ band.
Jimi Hendrix was having a tough time trying to make ends meet while living in New York City. In an effort to keep a steady job, Hendrix took a job touring with the Isley Brothers as their guitarist. One fateful night one the road, Little Richard happened to be in attendance of one of their shows. Little Richard was so blown away by Jimi’s skills with the instrument, he offered double the salary the family band could. Influenced by the dollars, Jimi never played another show with Ron and company.
2. Frank Zappa influenced his experimentation with instruments and live shows.
Hendrix saw Zappa use a wah-wah pedal, a foot operated guitar effects machine used to mimic a human voice. Jimi began using the instrument accessory at every event he could. The performance Jimi began using the wah-wah pedal was also the same performance he started smashing and burning guitars on stage. Eventually, he would become known for those outlandish stage antics.
3. Served in the Army.
After getting busted for riding in stolen cars twice, Jimi was given two choices. He could be locked in jail for two years or he could serve that time in the military. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and was stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. There, he met loyal friend and collaborator, Billy Cox. After leaving the service, these two played music with other musicians at local venues. The two were so close that Cox suffered a serious breakdown when he found out about his friend’s passing.
4. James Marshall Hendrix isn’t his real name.
Born in November of 1942, the name on his birth certificate says Johnny Allen. his father was in France during his birth. Once his dad came back to the states, Hendrix’s name was legally changed to be the same as his father’s. For those keeping track, Jimi was known as Johnny Allen from November of 1942 until September of 1945. Jimi wasn’t affected by his name being changed because everyone called him by his nickname, “Buster.”
5. He left a lasting impression on Bob Dylan.
For Hendrix fans, “Along The Watchtower” is his best work. Many fans of Jimi like to disregard the fact he’s not the original singer and songwriter. That credit goes to Bob Dylan. However, Bob Dylan was so moved by Hendrix’s interpretation of his song, he performs Jimi’s version to this day. Jimi’s version became a Top 10 hit back in 1968 and is ranked #48 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.